Thursday February 03, 2011 | 11:58 AM

The Red Sox released their spring training roster and Sea Dogs infielder Nate Spears is among the invited non-roster players.

Major league spring training camps automatically invite members of the 40-man roster. In addition, non-roster players are invited. The Red Sox invited a bunch of them, 20 in all.

Spears, 25, was a minor league free agent last year and, many times, those player are one-year rentals. But Spears endured himself to the Red Sox brass after batting .272 with 20 home runs in Portland, while playing superb defense at second base.

Spears was re-signed and will likely be assigned to Pawtucket this season.

Six other other non-roster players finished last season in Portland - pitchers Kyle Weiland (120 strikeouts in 128 IP), Jason Rice (13 saves, 71 strikeouts) and Alex Wilson (56 strikeouts); catcher Ryan Lavarnway (.285, 8 HR in 44 games), and outfielder Che-Hsuan Lin (.275, and .386 OBP) and Juan Carlos Linares (.239 in 13 games, but excellent Arizona Fall League).

Rice has the best chance of reaching Pawtucket, followed by Weiland and Linares.

Another non-roster catcher will be Tim Federowicz, who will move up from Class A and join Lavarnway in Portland this year.

The other 12 are (including position and likely destination):

Brandon Duckworth, RHP, 35. Major league/Triple-A journeyman will join the Pawtucket rotation.

Jason Bergmann, RHP, 29. Former Nationals starter and reliever will join the Pawtucket bullpen.

Matt Fox, RHP, 28. Claimed off waivers from Minnesota last year and headed for Pawtucket.

Rich Hill, LHP, 30. Signed as a minor league free agent last summer and will compete for a spot in the Boston bullpen.

Andrew Miller, LHP, 25. Acquired in trade with Marlins (Dustin Richardson). Could get a bullpen job at Fenway, or join the Pawtucket rotation.

Tony Pena Jr., RHP, 29. Converted shortstop with one full year of pitching experience. Will go to Pawtucket or Portland.

Clevelan Santeliz, RHP, 24. Minor league free agent with Double-A and Triple-A experience with the White Sox. Destination: Pawtucket or Portland.

Randy Williams, LHP, 35. Bounced between the majors and Triple-A last two years. Will join the Pawtucket bullpen.

Paul Hoover, C, 34. Just signed as minor league free agent, having spent most of last year in Triple-A with the Phillies. Has major league experience and will go to Pawtucket.

Brent Dlugach, Inf., 27. Acquired from Detroit. Mostly Triple-A experience. Headed to Pawtucket.

Hector Luna, Inf., 29. Minor league free agent with plenty of major league experience (Cardinals, Indians, Blue Jays, Marlins). Can also play outfield. Versatile player for Pawtucket.

Drew Sutton, Inf., 27. Minor league free agent with a handful of major league games under him. Headed to Pawtucket.

For a look at the 40-man roster, see

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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